Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) tries to evade a tackle by New England Patriots defensive end Christian Barmore (90), right, and New England Patriots cornerback Joejuan Williams (33), during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Dolphins Open Up Season Against the Patriots

The Miami Dolphins open up their season by hosting the New England Patriots Sunday at 1 p.m.  This is the third consecutive year the teams will face each other on opening day and the first of three in Miami.  In 2021, they both took the field for the opening game which saw Miami win 17-16 on the road. This will be the 12th week one matchup between the two teams. 

New Head Coach, New Season

In 2021, the Dolphins finished their season with a 9-8 record and the team decided to move on from former head coach Brian Flores. This year, the team turns to Mike McDaniel under the helm and he looks to regain a spot in the playoffs. McDaniel was the 49ers offensive coordinator in 2021 and prior to that, he worked as the run game coordinator. 

McDaniel hopes to see improvement from third-year quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. In the offseason, the Dolphins picked up veteran wide receiver Tyreek Hill in free agency from the Kansas City Chiefs, giving Tua another weapon with elite speed alongside Jaylen Waddle. 

However, the Dolphins are forced to play without star cornerback Byron Jones for the first four games. He recently had leg surgery and was added to PUP list.

In 2021, Miami’s offensive leaders were Tagovailoa, who threw for 2,653 yards, running back Myles Gaskin who rushed for 612 yards and Waddle who had 1,015 receiving yards.

For defensive stats, Jerome Baker racked up 62 tackles, Emmanuel Ogbah had nine sacks and Xavien Howard caught five interceptions.

Patriots Use New Additions for Success

Bill Belichick and the Patriots want to build off of last season’s 10-7 record with second-year quarterback Mac Jones. New England added veteran wide receiver DeVante Parker from the Dolphins. Additionally, they added two key defensive pieces in linebacker Mack Wilson and safety Jabrill Peppers. 


Top offensive leaders for New England last season was Jones, running back Damien Harris and receiver Jakobi Meyers. Jones totaled 3,801 passing yards, Harris had 929 rushing yards and Meyers brought in 866 receiving yards.

Defensively, Kyle Dugger led the team with 70 tackles, Matt Judon had 12.5 sacks and J.C. Jackson recorded eight interceptions, in 2021.

Miami is set to host their season opener at Hard Rock stadium, Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.

About Molly Cooper

Molly is a fourth-year journalism major specializing in sports and media and working on a certificate in sports management at the University of Florida.

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